Look at Beyoncé all you want, but just don’t ask the superstar to talk.
You may or may not have noticed that though Bey is constantly in the spotlight, she seldom addresses the public verbally. Her vocalization is so sparse, in fact, that fans were excited to hear a major announcement she was set to make on Good Morning America in June, only to be deflated when her appearance turned out to be nothing more than a plug for her vegan diet and the book The 22-Day Revolution.
It’s no wonder Beyoncé enthusiasts were elated at the prospect of hearing her speak, considering The New York Times revealed in May that a rep for the star confirmed she has refused to answer any direct questions for more than a year.
Now, she’s Vogue‘s September cover girl, and though there are plenty of gorgeous photos shot by Mario Testino inside, Margo Jefferson told The Times that she wrote the entire accompanying article without even speaking to Beyoncé.
When you think about Beyoncé’s huge presence, it’s pretty incredible she has managed to stay mum for so long, and she undoubtedly has specific reasons why she’s chosen to take a vow of silence. Could it be that she wants to avoid being misquoted or taken out of context? Or maybe she creates more mystery for her brand by letting fans’ imaginations run wild. We may never know the real reason, but we do know that Team Beyoncé is a genius PR/marketing machine, so the decision is undoubtedly a carefully calculated maneuver.
As genius as the controlled move to not speak may be on the part of Beyoncé, there are two major problems that rise from her lack of voice.
First, if Beyoncé isn’t offering her thoughts and opinions about life and the world, we’re left to infer that her fans are basing her importance on her appearance and physical image. It raises the question: What exactly is the BeyHive praising their queen for?
Whereas, for instance, Demi Lovato’s Instagram feed is full of empowering messages about self-acceptance and overcoming obstacles, Beyoncé’s is riddled with gorgeous images of the singer posing seductively and showing off her keen fashion sense.
She certainly isn’t the only celeb who posts sexy images, and we’re not faulting her for it. The issue is that she’s not balancing out her image by having important things to say. Young and impressionable fans might interpret this as Beyoncé implying that physical appearance is more important that empowering yourself intellectually or having interests outside the superficial. We’re fairly certain this isn’t Beyoncé’s actual view on life, which brings us to the second problem with her silence.
Beyoncé does have a strong and powerful voice and some extremely important messages to convey. She’s a businessperson, a mother, a partner. She’s an extremely intelligent person with the clout to do a lot of good in the world.
For example, the exception to her Instagram rule noted above is that she is willing to post images of herself promoting BeyGood, her charity that helps children in Haiti.
While it’s admirable that Bey isn’t actively seeking out praise and recognition for her philanthropy, it’s important that she draws attention to the fact that we all need to come together and help others. She’s a role model who can lead by example, but she can also let fans and the world know that it’s “cool” to contribute to charities by granting interviews and talking about the causes she supports. People look up to her and want to be like her, so she should let them see how great she really is.
Then again, as a powerful woman it is certainly Beyoncé’s prerogative to choose when she speaks and to control what she says and when she says it. That’s a huge message in itself.
Her lack of voice just makes us wonder if she’s worthy of being lauded as much as Demi Lovato, Emma Watson, Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, who are brave enough to face the media or say the wrong thing, and who are willing to risk their own image for the greater good.